thread: Co-sleeping advice needed!

  1. #1
    BellyBelly Member

    Oct 2009

    Co-sleeping advice needed!

    Hi all. I have a 7 month old who since birth has been rocked and patted to bed, bed being usually a cradle/cot then during the night when he wakes up I transfer him to my bed to sleep as I discovered this was so much easier when he was 3-4 months old. Although the system doesn't condone it! Hubby needs to sleep in other room as he has a serious job and cant zone its been like this for about 3 months...

    Now I have some terrible back issues and have known for a while now that I cant rock him anymore to sleep in cot. It started getting difficult, fall asleep in arms, transfer to cot, wake up screaming and wanting mum, back in arms and back asleep immediately, back in cot, screaming and on and on it went for anywhere up to an hour. I would feel exhausted and frustrated with him, which is not right. I am anti-sleep training and controlled crying so I was thinking and researching for days what I should do I decided to breastfeed him to sleep in bed like I usually do, but this time just leave him in my bed. Works much better! However I have encountered some co-sleeping issues that are quite specific to my situation and cant find anything about it on the, some questions for those who do co-sleep, any comments/suggestions appreciated!

    1. Firstly, all info says to never leave baby alone in adult bed. However I wont be going to bed at 6.30-7 like bub does, and transferring him to cot was the initial problem, so I leave him there on his own until I go to bed. I check on him frequently. Does anyone else have this dilemma?

    2. All info says no pillow or doonas. I keep the pillows away from him but have them above my head only, and pillows on the side to keep him contained (although he will be crawling soon so if I stay co-sleeping I will put mattress on floor). But the doona...we live at altitude and it gets COLD here, I need a doona. I have been putting a think sleeping bag on him and just keep my doona at his feet, but cover myself up to my shoulders. However during the night I find my sleep interrupted a lot as im constantly checking where the doona is. Anyone else with this dilemma?

    3. The idea of co-sleeping which is documented everywhere, inc Pinky Mckay, is that you simply turn over, breastfeed when required whilst still semi-asleep, turn back and fall asleep. I find this quite simplistic and not my situation. Pinky suggests sleeping with the baby tucked in the crook of your elbow, but who can sleep in the one position all night? I need to roll onto my side, back, DS is loose in bed. So when he needs a feed he is often away from me and above or below boob height, so I end up waking up to feed him really to get in the right position. This disrupts my sleep. Help!

    4. DS constantly rolls towards me to I end up sandwiched on the side of the bed and cant stretch out, = poor sleep!

    5. Since putting him into my bed on a regular basis, he has starting waking more frequently and 'demanding' to be fed, by wailing and rooting. Obviously my breast near him triggers this...I know he doesn't need a feed as I gave him one an hour earlier! So whenever he arouses he jus instantly wants a feed = irritating and poor sleep! Pinky suggests placing bub with back towards you after a feed, but what about the rollin bubs?

    6. Was thinking of getting a king size bed so that hubby can maybe return to me! But I am so unsure about the co-sleeping arrangement at the moment and don't want to invest in this til im sure....

    7. Other than rocking and patting and co-sleeping, the only other option really is to sleep train or do controlled crying, which I wont do.....any suggestions about any of these points would be appreciated! I actually woke up this morn after a poor sleep and about 4 feeds feeling unhappy and annoyed at my boy, and not wanting to engage with him in bed I have never felt this in the 7 months he has been I became extra annoyed that I felt this way because he truly is the miracle apple of my eye. Aaah, poor sleep...its a bugger!

    many thanks, B.

  2. #2
    2013 BellyBelly RAK Recipient.

    Feb 2012

    Re: Co-sleeping advice needed!

    have you looked in to pantley pull off method? I tried it for a while with my ds, helped me to start putting him in to bed awake without crying. then we progressed to holding hands in cot till he went to sleep. then sitting on stool, not holding hands etc.

  3. #3
    BellyBelly Member

    Nov 2011
    SE Melbourne

    Re: Co-sleeping advice needed!

    Some people have what they call a "family bed". Put the mattress on the floor and everyone sleeps together in it. It solves the dilemma of safety in the bed when you aren't there. As for blankets I find that I still have mine up high and over my shoulders and when I have my arm around bub the blanket goes with me. She tends to push herself up higher in the bed so the blanket doesn't cover her anyway. A couple of times the blankets have covered her a bit too high she has fussed and moved around so much I couldn't help but wake up.

    Do what feels right as safely as possible and it will be fine. People have been bed sharing for thousands of years.

  4. #4
    2013 BellyBelly RAK Recipient.

    Apr 2009

    Re: Co-sleeping advice needed!

    We co-sleep. DS is usually in the middle of DH and I. In a king bed. There is a new super king out now DH and I have separate blankets. This helps prevent DS slipping under. I sleep low in the bed if that makes sense so I can stay under the covers but not let them ride about DS. Still I am paranoid of SIDS so he also wears an apnoea monitor.

    DS goes to sleep around 730-8pm and is on his own for at least an hour before we go to bed. We check him regularly. I like the mattress on the floor idea but we have not done it ourselves.

    If DH wouldn't sleep in bed with us I'd have to seriously look at changing the arrangement but like me DH likes our babies in bed with us. He doesn't do any of the work as he is working fulltime and I am not working at present. Plus I am breastfeeding so don't see the point in both of us been awake.

  5. #5
    Registered User

    Apr 2015

    Re: Co-sleeping advice needed!

    1. Yes we leave ds alone in the bed. We check regularly but he has always been fine. We use a double bed safety rail now he is rolling & crawling but had no problems.

    2. Push all bedding away from bub when you aren't there. When in bed I used to wrap the sheets and doona around me (so tuck them underneath me). Now ds is older we share bedding.

    3. It takes practise. But bub on one side of the bed and sleep yourself in the middle. I find most nights I will stay in the same position all night. Not always that comfortable!

    4. Put ds on one side of the bed (as far as possible).

    5. I think you both just need time to get used to the new arrangement. You can try alternating feeding and back rubbing/patting if you like.

    6. We also want a kind sized bed. We have a queen and most nights dh is in the spare bed or couch (he also sleep walks there).

    7. Don't do anything that doesn't feel right to you. I don't think sleep training is a fail safe method to ensure sleep. It doesn't take much for bub to "regress". I find ds will sleep well for a while then he will sleep poorly for a while. Usually because of teething, developmental milestones or sickness. It is very slowly improving though and recently (baring sickness teething etc) ds has started showing signs of actually self settling all on his own, no sleep training required). Ie. I hear him wake up, check him and he has rolled over and gone back to sleep. He still wakes overnight, still needs feeding to sleep, still wants to sleep on top of me, but we are getting there. ds is 15mo.

  6. #6
    BellyBelly Member

    Oct 2007
    Middle Victoria

    Re: Co-sleeping advice needed!

    Just an idea - have you thought of having a mattress on the floor for baby? You can feed him to sleep, then leave him there and you might get a few hours solo sleep before baby joins you, or you feed to sleep again on his mattress.

    1. Yep, i left my kids on the bed. There was a bit of a tricky time as they got more mobile, and then i taught them how to get off the bed safely, but my little one now largely calls out and waits for one of us to come if she wakes.

    2. We use a doona. gap between the pillows and bub generally goes up higher than us (when not feeding)

    3. i always wake to feed.

    5. i often roll away from bub. i also wear clothes to bed so boobs aren't out there.

    6. i have a queen bed, and often 3 children and my partner sharing it. Would love a king, but it is still doable with a queen

  7. #7
    BellyBelly Member

    Feb 2012

    Re: Co-sleeping advice needed!

    Do what works for you and try not to worry about people with opposing opinions.

    I could have written this a year ago. DS slept in our bed from around 6 months, we have a KS bed & the cot attached to the bed. I would feed to sleep & put him in the cot then through the night he would just gravitate towards me. Then when he got bigger i moved him to the middle.

    We did leave him alone in the bed but watched him on the monitor. Like the others said, we kept all the pillows & blankets away. When we were all in bed we had separate blankets & i would just dress a bit warmer too.

    It will get better, i thought i was never going to get any sleep but i personally found once i stopped breast feeding (DS was 15mo) it got a bit easier.

    I think you have your good days and bad days. Where possible take some time out to yourself, go to bed early & don't be too hard on yourself.

  8. #8
    BellyBelly Member

    Aug 2010
    Albs, WA

    Re: Co-sleeping advice needed!

    We have a sidecar cot, so they can be in there when we arent in bed, without falling out.